Winter Break Camp: Smorgasbord!

Five days of fun during winter break! This is a drop-off camp for ages 5-8. Each day features a different theme from live animals to theatre. December 26 to December 30, 9am-12pm. $135 for members, $160 for visitors. Part-week registrations available too! To register call 828-1234 x231, register online here, or stop by the front desk.

Download our camp flyer here!

Get a sneak peek behind the scenes and explore before the museum & theatre is open to the public. Thrive with a small group; we keep our camp size small so each camper gets the attention they need and deserve.

Storytelling Monday: Master the art of storytelling through music, theater, and paint! With a magical bard as our guide, we’ll explore three stories: a musical tale, a spooky legend, and lastly, a humorous twist on an old classic. (Note: The spooky legend is of the silly variety, so if you’re faint of heart, don’t fret.) Then we’ll create our own story stones to use as tools to harness the storyteller within us all.

Live Animal Tuesday: Get a front row seat to see a Spark’s Ark Live Animal Show, meet the honey bees for art time and honey tasting, and dive into our tide pool touch tank to meet sea-stars, urchins and more!

Artsy Wednesday: Join us for day of BIG, messy art! We’ll create giant marble paintings, explore large-scale gravity painting, and make our own constellation self-portraits taking inspiration from a star show in the Museum & Theatre’s mini-planetarium.

Theatre Thursday: Join us for a day of Narnia-inspired theatre! The day will include playing acting games in our theatre; going on an exclusive back-stage tour of our play; then meeting the cast of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and see the play at 11am!

Science Friday: Meet our yellow bellied slider turtles, examine a living sea-star, and study the movement of our frogs. We’ll make science journals to record our adventures in and discover how science is all around us.

Save the Date! The 2016 Annual Auction is coming soon!

Join the Museum & Theatre from 6 – 10pm on May 13, 2016 at the Portland Company on Fore Street in Portland for an evening of great company, delicious food and drink, and terrific auction items! We’ll be shaking things up a bit this year and we would love to have you join us as a guest, donor, or sponsor for what we hope will be our best event yet!

This year’s theme is “Every Child is an Artist” and to celebrate, we’ll be featuring children’s art as part of our art auction. Of course we’ll also have all the fabulous live and silent auction items our guests have come to expect.

We’re also thrilled to announce that our honorary chairs for Auction 2016 are Chris and Lori Van Dusen. Chris is a nationally recognized children’s book author and illustrator who lives here in Maine with his wife Lori. His first book, Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, was the inspiration for our outdoor adventure exhibit and his book, Circus Ship, will be adapted for the stage by our own Reba Short and produced here at the Museum & Theatre in April, 2016.

Stay tuned for details on Auction 2016. Tickets ($50 per person/$450 for a block of 10) will be on sale in March, and sponsorships are available now!

For information on sponsorships, or to donate and item to the auction, contact the Development department at development@kitetails.org or (207) 828-1234 ext. 242.

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Big News About the Big Draw!

Calling all doodlers! This October, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is participating in The Big Draw, an international drawing festival that celebrates drawing in all its forms. Now in its fifteenth year, the Festival  attracts  hundreds of thousands of participants from all over the world, giving everyone a chance make art and connect with their community. The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is proud to be the only official Big Draw partner in the state of Maine this year.

To celebrate, we’ve scheduled a ton of fun, interactive drawing and art workshops and classes. We’re also welcoming three fantastic guest artists to our Artists in Residence Program during The Big Draw. Look for Johanna, Faith, and Emmeline as they create interactive, large scale works of art created by YOU! Children and families are encouraged to work together to create a seascape mural with Johanna, constellation art with Faith, and art based on your favorite things with Emmeline.

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Other Big Draw workshops include: Draw a Song, Movement Portraits, Nature Drawing, Alphabet Art, Story Book Creations, Movement Portraits and More.

For details on all of our special programs and workshops, check out our calendar of events all through October to go with the Big Draw!

If you miss the workshops and programs, visit us on November 6 for First Friday and view the finished projects during a special Museum & Theatre Big Draw gallery show. Museum admission is just $2 from 5-8pm on First Friday.

Our Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report Is Now Online!

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine annual report for fiscal year 2015 is here. Thank you to all of our donors, business members, sponsors, members, volunteers, and visitors for making this one of our best years yet!

Click here to download a pdf copy from our website.

Thanks to All at Our 10th Annual Golf Tournament!

On Monday, September 21st we held our tenth annual golf tournament, and it was the best one yet! We had the generous support of 20 sponsors, 71 golfers, and more than 50 donors of auction, prize, and snack items. With their help, we raised over $17,000 to support the Museum & Theatre’s interactive exhibits, educational programming, theatre productions and general operations!

Hunter Panels has sponsored our golf tournament for 10 years!

Hunter Panels has sponsored our golf tournament for 10 years!

 

 

 

We’d like to give a special thank you to our Platinum Event Sponsor, Hunter Panels, who have sponsored our golf tournament every single year. Thanks again for all of your support!

 

 

 

 

The red-tailed hawk spotted during the tournament.

The red-tailed hawk spotted during the tournament.

 

 

 

The event was held over at Nonesuch River Golf Club in Scarborough, Maine, where the weather was perfect for a day on the course. Their beautiful facility is a great spot to get away, full of lovely views, and lots of wildlife. Some golfers were even lucky enough to spot a red-tailed hawk near Holes 4 and 5!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 10th Annual Golf Tournament winners!

The 10th Annual Golf Tournament winners!

The competition was fierce this year, with the winners decided by their tie-breaking performance on Hole 3. This year’s winners were:

1st Place: Drew Gilman, Mike Wilson, Chris Lynch, and Jeff Berman, the team from Cragmoor Capital.

2nd Place: Jim Whitton, Mark Pietras, Phil Kent, and Mark Murphy, one of the teams from Hunter Panels.

3rd Place: Bill Becker, Matt Stringer, and Todd Zukowski, the team from Key Bank. Congratulations to all our winners!

 

 

 

 

Matt Dana making the 30ft putt that qualified him as our sole finalist!

Matt Dana making the 30ft putt that qualified him as our sole finalist!

 

Matt Dana was the finalist in our putting contest, and Evan Lank was the winner of the closest-to-pin contest. Thanks again to all of our golfers! We hope to see you again at next year’s tournament.

 

 

 

 

For the full album of photos from this year’s event, please visit our facebook page.

Chris Van Dusen Visits “Down to the Sea: An Outdoor Adventure.”

Today, we were thrilled and honored to welcome back our good friend Chris Van Dusen to the Museum & Theatre. Mr. Van Dusen, an acclaimed Maine author and illustrator, was here to greet fans at the “Down to the Sea: An Outdoor Adventure” exhibit, named after his book “Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee.”

 

Raising Readers Visits Down to the Sea

Our friends from Raising Readers came to the opening of our new exhibit, “Down to the Sea: An Outdoor Adventure.” They enjoyed themselves so much, they wanted to write about it! Here’s their story…

Thanks to Maine author and illustrator, Chris Van Dusen, Maine families have learned to ski, joined camping sprees, and headed down to the sea with Mr. Magee and his little dog, Dee. They’ve also helped Jack build a house with a flying room and a car that can submerge, float, and fly. Oh, and they’ve journeyed on the circus ship with Mr. Paine and have laughed out loud at the circus animals getting, um, adjusted to their new home on an isle in Maine. Remember the ostrich in the outhouse and the monkey swinging in Miss Fannie Feeney’s bloomers?!

With his colorful, lovable, imaginative stories and illustrations, Chris Van Dusen has captivated the imaginations of children and adults alike. His work is so esteemed that in 2015, the Maine Library Association awarded Chris the Katahdin Award, a lifetime achievement award and the highest honor given by the organization.

Chris and his stories, If I Built a Car and The Circus Ship, have been featured in two Raising Readers anthologies (2006 and 2010) and other titles are also a part of our library of well-loved children’s books. So, it comes as no surprise to learn that the Raising Readers staff are some of his biggest fans. Our team was thrilled (like kids-on-Christmas-morning-thrilled) to be invited to the grand opening of Down to the Sea: An Outdoor Adventure exhibit at the Children’s Museum2`12 and Theater of Maine on June 18th.

Down to the Sea_CharlotteWhen we walked through the door, to the museum’s outside space, Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee came alive with a whale fountain in one corner, a sandy “beach” in the playground’s center, pedal cars, a shipwreck to explore, a greenhouse and garden, and Mr. Magee and Dee’s presence throughout. To add to the sheer delight of experiencing a book outside of its pages, kiddos were having a ball interacting with the exhibit and the author himself. They ran around with dog ears on their heads, toy boats in their hands, and were pedaling pint-sized vintage cars as quickly as they could. Even the youngest tikes were pointing at the life-sized painting of Mr. Magee and Dee and screaming their names in delight, a true testament to the power of reading to children and the relationships their young minds build with their favorite characters in their most beloved books.

From an early childhood development stand point, exhibits like many of those found at the Children’s Museum are wonderful for a number of reasons: they promote gross motor play, sensory play with sand and water, and of course, early childhood literacy.

Take it from us, a team of avid children’s book readers, advocates, and lovers of all things Maine, visiting Chris Van Dusen’s Down to the Sea exhibit is worth experiencing, for children and adults alike.

We also encourage you to come check out Raising Readers standing exhibit on the second floor of the Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine, our cozy and rustic Book Nook. It’s a great place to relax with a good book on a warm lap or cozy chair amongst the hustle and bustle of the museum.

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To learn more about ways you can have fun engaging your child in early literacy opportunities, visit: http://www.raisingreaders.org/parents_and_families/

To see a list of Chris Van Dusen’s books and to get ideas of fun activities that you can do with your kiddos based on his stories, Raising Readers recommends visiting: http://www.chrisvandusen.com/books
http://www.candlewick.com/book_files/0763649465.btg.1.pdf

Would you like to attend and participate in more activities with an early literacy focus in Maine? Check out the Portland Kids Calendar to see what activities are scheduled near you!
http://www.portlandkidscalendar.com/calendar/

Mother’s Day is this Sunday – Join Us for a Party!

Let’s celebrate our moms by throwing them a party. We’ll bake them something special – then eat it with tea, of course! We’ll also make one-of-a-kind Mother’s Day cards for this special day.

Free with admission. 10:30am-12pm.

 

Hancock Lumber Celebrates Earth Day and 10 Years of “Tree to Timber!”

Happy Earth Day, and happy 10 years to Tree to Timber! Our company, Hancock Lumber, has been the proud sponsor of the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s second floor sustainable forestry and pine manufacturing exhibit since 2005. We love sharing what we do with the thousands of kids and their families who visit the Museum & Theatre every year.

TreeToTimber3-sawmill-girlplayingIn Tree to Timber, we not only get to talk about the process of harvesting trees, we let kids in on the experience. From an interactive video game to a sawmill, children can watch the felling of trees, then help turn the logs into lumber using the sawmill crank. The exhibit is also home to a treehouse where you can build your own structures using interlocking wood blocks – the only limit to what you can build is your imagination!

We’re also excited to be a part of the Museum & Theatre’s Earth Day celebration this Wednesday, April 22nd, for the second year in a row. Last year’s Earth Day festivities were a huge hit: we had a meet and greet with our mascot, Forest Hancock, and gave away over 200 White Pine seedlings to visitors. Eastern White Pine –the kind of trees that grow in our forest and we make into boards—seedlings will be available to children and their families for free again this year (while supplies last).

Check out all of the Earth Day activities, including reading stories about forests, planting seeds, and more! While you’re here, take a turn at the sawmill or building a home in Tree to Timber, then take home your own seedling and plant a tree for the next generation to enjoy.

Hancock Lumber started doing business in Maine over 166 years ago –in 1848! We responsibly manage forests, selectively harvest Eastern White Pine trees to manufacture into boards at our sawmills, ship those boards all over the world and sell them at our 10 lumberyards throughout Maine and New Hampshire! We also sell building materials to contractors and homeowners at those locations. Being connected to the community, however, is one of the most important parts of our business. We are so proud of the space we’ve created together with the amazing team at the museum and look forward to continuing the partnership for many years to come! Please visit our website to learn about our community involvement: http://www.hancocklumber.com/retail/community.

Exploring "Tree to Timber." Photo by Olivia Birdsall.

Exploring “Tree to Timber.” Photo by Olivia Birdsall.

 

 

Taiko Drumming Fest

Our new Taiko Drumming exhibit opens April 19th – join us to hear some amazing percussive music from Japan, sample Japanese food, and more! Funded by the Sam L. Cohen Foundation.

Free with admission.